Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Game

Lookit what I found here: Domesticali

Here's mine.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Little Bits of Tid

The 100th person asked us this weekend if we named Dash after the character in The Incredibles. I never know if I should be insulted by that question (do I seem like the kind of person who would name their kid after a cartoon? If we had another would I name him Spongebob?) Or should I just assume that the asker lives in a world where it's perfectly normal to name your kid Care Bear? For the record, we named him after Dashiell Hammet, the author of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, among others. He (Hammett) had a 30-year affair with the playwright Lillian Hellman, and I read once that she called him Dash and I nearly passed out from the romance of it. Luckily I married someone whose taste in baby names runs parallel to mine and voila: Dash.


We've been doing quite a lot of discipling lately. Dash is an aggressive and headstrong little fucker and he has been testing limits like it's his job lately (the other day he actually spit at Josh across the table at a restaurant. and thank God for him we were in public because I don't know what I would have done to him had there been no witnesses.) But the point of my story is that whenever Dash hits or smacks or bites he has to sit in his chair. I don't say "time out," but effectively that's what it is. So, we were in the car the other day and Dash's toy umbrella fell over and smacked him in the leg. "Mommy," says Dash, "My umbrella hit me. Umbrella has to sit in da chair." And that is another reason why we continue to allow him to live in the house with us despite his lack of civility.


When we were in San Diego Dash slept in a Pack 'n Play at the foot of our bed. One night at about 3am he woke up screaming for Mommy. I just kinda slid down the bed, plucked him out of the Pack 'n Play and put him down between Josh and me. We all three slept another 5 or so hours and it was just lovely. Josh didn't tell me until the next day that what the baby was actually screaming was, "Mommy! Da bear!" What could possibly lead him to believe there was a bear in our room at 3am you ask? Why it was my insane, cartoonish snoring. That's right. I frightened my own child. Thank God I already have a husband, yo. Because I have a feeling that shit would not fly in today's world of dating.

Friday, May 23, 2008

San Dee-Yay-Go Super-chargerz

Hey! We went on vacation!

We left home around noon and arrived in San Diego around 3pm. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed to Sea World. It was actually pretty ideal timing. It wasn't too crowded or hot, and Dash had already napped in the car so I wasn't freaking out.

We stayed until closing and got to watch the Shamu Rocks spectacular and I got to learn some things.
  1. It's not Shamu. It's like 9 whales who perform as Shamu in rotation.
  2. They're called killer whales because they kill other whales. And then morons like us buy stuffed animals in their likeness for our tots to cuddle.
  3. Josh and I decided that the women who perform with the whales are trainers, not professional dancers. Which is a weird place to end up after all that schooling, no?
The next day we swam in the hotel pool until noon, then all three of us napped until almost 4pm. The concierge at the hotel sent us over to Seaport Village for restaurants and shopping. Listen, if I never do another thing for you in this lifetime, let me do this: do not go to fucking Seaport Village. It is quite likely the most depressing place on earth. The shops are dusty and contain not one item worth coveting. Even the toy store was depressing. Apparently the owners really love Jesus. So much that the music overhead was children singing about The Lord and the little wooden "create your own plaque" display read "Christ is King." The carriage ride was nice, but the driver really wanted to talk about boats and the Navy and we had to keep shushing poor exuberant Dash so as not to seem rude.

But they had ice cream.

The next day we went to the zoo and saw all the usual suspects. Dash was psyched to see the elephants but I think the pandas blew his mind the most. (In the picture at the top center you can see a polar bear backpack we bought Dash the previous day at Sea World. I asked what the bear's name was and he said, "Clark." So now we have a bear named Clark.)

I didn't expect we'd be at the zoo for as long as we were, so when Dash fell asleep in his rented stroller at lunchtime, we just lugged him into Albert's . They wouldn't let us bring the stroller into the restaurant, so I held him while drinking my Chardonnay and eating pizza (both delivered by the surliest waiter I can remember having in a good long time. let me ask you--how can you be surly about serving a couple with a sleeping toddler in their arms?) When he awoke an hour or so later he made not a peep, just reached for a slice.

Here's the view from our hotel window. The fog hadn't burned off yet when we took these so you'll just have to trust that the view was lovely.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Remember when I was all, "Wah! I made this purty nature box and Dash hates it?!" Well lookit what I happened upon a few days ago.

I left the rocks lined up like that for a week. Just too pretty to disturb.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

We went back to the La Brea Tar Pits, where we spent my very first Mother's Day with a crabby 4-month-old Dash. This year was way, way better.

Josh packed us a picnic of good cheese, bread and apples. Aunty met us there and she and Dash ran around climbing statues of assorted extinct whatnots. We then ventured into the depressing and dusty dinosaur museum where they have an animated exhibit of a saber tooth tiger killing a giant sloth. Dash was horrified and transfixed. We kept repeating that the tiger was tickling the sloth, but he wasn't buying it. "That tiger eating that bear, Mommy." Over and over again.

Once outside Dash paid a man two dollars to play some songs on the banjo and he danced a little. Then it was off to the LACMA cafe where Daddy and Dash ate hot dogs & fries and Mommy and Aunty drank wine.

It was a perfect, lovely day. I don't know how I got this lucky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Word to Your Mother

Dear Parents of Dash's School Friend/Birthday Boy,

OK, I get it. Parties are expensive. And often plans can get away from you (I know! It happened to me! I wanted a party for 10 and got a party for 30! It was crazy and expensive and a ton of work!). But here's the thing: if you note on the invitation that there will be "plenty of food," then you have to assume that parents will bring unfed kids and expect more sustenance than pinata candy and Pringles.

But you know what? It's ok. Everybody fucks up. Maybe you didn't get to the store. Maybe you ran out of money after renting the karaoke machine (another tip--maybe 2- and 3-year olds don't so much get what to do with a karaoke machine). But you know what's not ok? What's not ok is defrosting 25 lbs of ribs in the sink for the afterparty while your starving guests shuffle past on their way to sing Happy Birthday to your kid. Dash had so much sugar and so little other food that he hasn't stopped melting down yet and we have already been home for an hour. I can only pray that at the next party you're invited to the gift bag contains a puppy.


The Engels

Friday, May 02, 2008


We went to the Aquarium of The Pacific last weekend. It was hot, crowded and Dash was terrified of the sharks. But still, a good day.

He had more fun playing on the fake boat than looking at any damn fish.

"You want me to touch that thing? Are you high?"

Sharks have effed up teeth, man.